CSP Magazine

Foodservice 2018: Invasion of the Convenience Snatchers

C-stores branch out as foodservice co-opts convenience

Restaurants, grocers, retailers, food startups: What separates these businesses is being washed away by consumers’ thirst for convenience. The industries are participating in a high-stakes game of one-upmanship. Here’s how c-stores intend to win.

1. A super-skilled workforce.

Beating restaurants at foodservice requires a seriously competent crew. To make sure employees are well-versed in the art of hospitality, retailers are opening high-tech training facilities and creating new roles geared toward employee development.

2017 Changes in Foodservice Habits


Source: Technomic C-Store Marketbrief

2. C-stores deliver.

Getting customers in the door seems to be getting more difficult. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to drop cash for food delivered directly to their door. That’s why convenience stores are partnering with third-party delivery sites and developing their own proprietary off-premise options. And when guests do grace retailers with their presence, some brands are making the in-store experience as frictionless as possible with in-store pickup.

3. Leaning into local.

An emphasis on homegrown helps set c-stores apart from Amazon and restaurant chains. Convenience stores are stocking local foods and snacks, and they’re appointing team members to develop local procurement chains and interact with the community.

Click here to see the complete foodservice data from the 2018 Category Management Handbook.


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